At a Veterans Administration event last month in Washington, D.C., I went to the nonprofit vetsfirst.org table, gave a young woman my resume and she said she would call me back. To date, nothing; not like I expected a return call.
I’ve also visited usajobs.gov numerous times, applied for a few jobs, and again no response. And it turns out, my experience appears to be the norm.
Despite presidential proclamations, an overhaul of the USAJOBS website and federal agencies’ sloganeering about their desire to hire former servicemembers, veterans still find applying for a federal job arduous and – because the odds of success are so low – a waste of time.
Roger Peterman, who helps veterans find jobs as transition assistance adviser for the Indiana National Guard, cites equally bleak numbers. “In eight years of working with USAJOBS, I only know of two people who got jobs applying through the website. And either they knew somebody or we were able to connect them with somebody in the federal agency who could pull them along.”
The following was my suspicion all along, as many who are in state and federal government positions tip off friends and family to coming, coveted job openings. Screw the targeted and/or qualified….
Veterans also suspect that many positions are posted to comply with legal requirements by agencies that have already decided who they want to hire. And there are complaints that some job listings aren’t current. “They don’t keep it updated,” Casey Curry, who served 26 years with the Oregon Army National Guard and has had much experience with the website says. “People are filling out applications for jobs that are already closed.”
But there’s evidence that some federal agencies purposefully circumvent veterans preference laws and discriminate against veteran applicants who successfully negotiate USAJOBS.
In at least one case, a BPA administrator closed the hiring process after learning that a veteran was the most qualified applicant – and then rewrote the job description to include criteria the veteran couldn’t meet. BPA’s human resources department was ultimately blamed for the agency’s discrimination, and vowed reform after its hiring practices were exposed in 2013.
— Bogus Benefit, Legion.org
Here we have yet another entity that gets taxpayer money to help veterans, does not and USAJOBS is not alone.
Using the “veteran” heartstring-pull has got to stop and will only do so when people thoroughly vet any group before giving that donation. Ineffective government agencies are a whole other issue due for a very frank discussion.